DVD Review: Waiting in the Summer – The Complete Series

waiting_in_the_summer_screenshot_7The wait is over as our DVD Review of Waiting in the Summer is here, but was it worth the wait? Read on below to find out.

Synopsis:

When a group of friends decide to make a movie over a long summer holiday, they end up learning a little about filmmaking and a lot more about each other and themselves. What begins as a simple way to avoid the summer doldrums quickly turns into something much more complex, intimate, and downright revealing. As the summer heats up, so do the maturing relationships between the young cast members, taking some new, and sometimes unexpected, turns.

Our View:

Kaito Kirishima is your typical high school student, he goes to school, hangs out with friends and has the odd insecure moments with cute girls, however during a cloudless night, and out testing his favourite 8mm handheld camera, he witnesses a strange object falling out of the sky that crashes into the ground, in the process severely injuring him. Suddenly Kaito awakens to find himself in his house with no recollection of how he got there and starts to wonder was last night really a dream or was it reality?

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This is the initial starting point of J.C. Staff’s TV Anime, Waiting in the summer and despite early indications of it featuring amusing alien encounters, such as anime like Tenchi Muyo or Birdy the Mighty Decode, it’s actually an impressively complicated love story about relationships and bonds between several different types of people.

After the mysterious crash, which seems to have escaped our lead male protagonist’s mind, viewers are introduced to an array of different characters, each with their own personalities and styles, for instance Tetsurō Ishigaki is popular with all the girls (and women) at school but has a rational approach to things, while Kanna Tanigawa is loud and outspoken but has a secret (and obvious) crush on Kaito. Along with these characters viewers are introduced to third year student Remon Yamano and the recently transferred Ichika Takatsuki, these introductions become about when the group are discussing a theme for the summer and it is here that they (Remon-sempai) decide to make a movie with the lead role going to the school’s new arrival, Ichika Takatsuki.

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Over the course of the summer the group meet up and interact in various ways, while at the same time recording scenes for the movie – which so happens to be about an Alien landing on earth and falling in love with a human (Sound familiar?).  While on-camera performances from the group are rock solid, there is tension in the air between Kaito, Ichika and Kanna as they all like each other but are too afraid to admit it, not only that Mio Kitahara has feelings for Tetsurō but is too shy to admit it due to her own personal problems. Even more complications arise when Kaito’s old-school friend, Kaori Kinoshita, arrives stating that Kaito promised to be her future fiancée, and life changing secrets are unearthed when Ichika Takatsuki reveals a closely guarded secret about herself to the rest of the group.

Extras:

All of the extras are located on Disc 2, as per the norm, and included are the text less videos for the opening and closing Songs as well as three anime trailers.

waiting_in_the_summer_dvd_extras

The included text less songs are Sign by Ray, for the opening song, with Vidro Moyō, by Nagi Yanagi, as the ending song. The included trailers are for Ga-Rei-Zero, Mayo Chiki and Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, all of which are currently available in the UK via MVM Entertainment UK.

Tech Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:16:20 (Disc 1), 2:16:10 (Disc 2) (12 Episodes)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps / LPCM 48Khz (Japanese)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Waiting in the Summer is a mature, down to earth, love story that is different to those currently on offer by the likes of Okami-san or Tenchi Muyo , as these series not only feature a comical ‘slice of life’ style of storytelling but the relationship between the characters is one sided, whereas Waiting in the summer is not. Waiting in the summer provides a more direct, realistic approach where both the characters like each other, but are afraid to say it, also many viewers will be able to relate to the things happening on screen, whether it be jealously, sneaking around, getting drunk or asking friends for advice it’s all here in this 12 episode TV Anime, but just with a slight twist of an alien being the main attraction.

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Even though Waiting in the Summer focuses on the love aspect there is still time for some comical antics between the characters, an example of this is when Tetsurō’s older sister, Manami, picks up Kaito and they go do various activities around town, one of which includes a cameo cinema appearance from Highschool of the Dead. Throughout the afternoon Kaito is put through a variety of difficult situations, which is only made worse by the unexpected arrival of Ichika. An argument between the two takes place that is only stopped when Tetsurō explains who Manami is. Another amusing example is when Remon acquires alcoholic drinks and the whole group ends up getting drunk, while Remon captures it all on film. These comical antic’s may look like they deviate from the story, but in fact it reinforces it by showing the jealous behaviour behind the characters or the characters alternate motives.

Another unique feature of the show is that it features a small, but varied, cast of character personalities that yet again people can relate to, whether it be the shy quiet girl (Mio), tomboy (Kanna), conniving (Remon), energetic (Chiharu), concerning (Kaori), smooth-talker (Tetsurō), easily angered (Manami), average guy (Kaito) or the alien (Ichika) there is someone for everyone to enjoy.

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Story aside the show provides not only an entertaining viewing experience but it also provides a visually entertaining one as well with impressive backgrounds and a variety of unique locations. Even though this is just a DVD release the visuals of the characters and backgrounds are visually smooth and sharp plus the Japanese voice acting provides a realistic audio experience making this an impressive collection.

The DVD only features Japanese with English Subtitles, however the subtitles are optional and can be removed. Each DVD contains six episodes with the second disc also containing the minimal extra features. The English subtitles are in yellow, which is the standard for Sentai produced titles.

Overall Waiting in the Summer is an enjoyable viewing experience and it features a unique story surrounding love and relationships, however the lack of extra features, English audio and slow approach to the story will inevitably put some people off.

Score: review-stars-4

Waiting in the Summer will be available on DVD from the 3rd June 2013 within the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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